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Daily Business Report-Feb. 25, 2014

Daily Business Report-Feb. 25, 2014

 Rain Finally Back in Forecast for California reports the second half of this week will feature soaking rain and mountain snow returning to drought-stricken California. Confidence is growing for California to soon receive a substantial amount of rain and mountain snow from two storm systems.

The first system is scheduled to move through California Wednesday through Thursday with the second to follow for Friday through the first part of the next weekend. The second is likely to be the stronger and wetter of the two systems, bringing a much-needed soaking to many communities (with the deserts being the exception).

If the first storm bypasses or only grazes Southern California, the second will not. It is possible that Downtown Los Angeles receives at least half of the rain that fell in all of 2013 (3.60 inches) from this one storm Friday through next weekend.

Several inches of rain could soak the northern California coast, while feet of snow may blanket the Sierra. Snow levels could drop low enough to whiten the mountains of Southern California.

The upcoming rain and mountain snow will definitely be welcome to a state where the percentage area of places enduring an extreme to exceptional drought was 68 percent on Feb. 18, the U.S. Drought Monitor stated in its latest report. The number was nearly 61 percent the week prior.

California’s Department of Water Resources states that the amount of water stored in the snowpack across the Sierra was only 25 percent of normal on Friday.

Port of San Diego Celebrates Shore Power Installation

The Port of San Diego has switched on its new shore-power system at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, designed to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by allowing cargo vessels to “plug in” rather than run their diesel engines while in port. Construction on the $4.25 million project began in mid-2013 and was funded by the Port’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The contractor was NEWest Construction in San Diego. A ceremony celebrating the completion was held on Monday.

The new shore power system will allow refrigerated cargo ships — including those from Dole Fresh Fruit – to “plug in” and use electrical power from SDG&E instead of relying on diesel fuel engines while at berth. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality around Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, with the community of Barrio Logan being the closest impacted neighborhood.

The installation of shore power has substantial environmental benefits:

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 50 percent (more than 2,000 metric tons) per year. That’s equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from about 1,500 cars per year.

ResMed Founder to Speak at March 27 Program

Dr. Peter Farrell, founder and executive chairman of ResMed, will be guest speaker at the San Diego Employers Association’s Strategic Leadership Series program March 27 from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Admiral Baker Clubhouse, 2400 Admiral Baker Road, Building 3604, San Diego. Farrell is expected to talk about what he calls the Five Elements of Leadership, among other topics. Farrell founded ResMed, a medical device company, in 1989. It has evolved from a six-person staff to 4,500 employees globally.

Registration costs is $49 for SDEA members and $59 for nonmembers and includes lunch and networking. To register, call (858) 505-0024 or email

Brokers Say San Diego’s Commercial

Real Estate Market is on the Mend

Commercial real estate experts say that the San Diego region is finally recovering from the Great Recession, and that the future is bright for moves and expansions. Industrial and office vacancy rates are down in San Diego and remained stable in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to CoStar Group. Torn Van Betten of  Cassidy Turley used a recent example from the company Viasat, which is building a new campus across the street from its current building. “They could have leased existing buildings and they chose to build for convenience, proximity, and to support the company culture,” says Van Betten.

This is a good sign as there hasn’t been a lot of new construction in San Diego for some time. A factor that may change the hopefulness is the potential commercial linkage fee increase which, if the San Diego City Council doesn’t rescind, will be decided by the voters on the special June 3 ballot.

Southeastern San Diego Leaders Break

Ground on Long-Awaited Walgreens

Southeastern San Diego residents celebrated the arrival of a long-awaited retail chain Monday, KPBS reports. More than 100 community members and leaders attended a groundbreaking ceremony at a vacant lot near the corner of Market Street and Euclid Avenue. By fall 2014, the lot will be home to a Walgreens drugstore. Interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria spoke at the ceremony, and said many people came out to the event because they’ve been waiting a long time for the store.

Councilwoman Myrtle Cole oversees District 4, which includes the areas surrounding the coming Walgreens. She said the lack of stores and restaurants in the district has forced residents to spend their money elsewhere. “We spend $1.6 billion in this district, and 870 million of those dollars went outside of our district for restaurants, drug stores, for retail, and we need to bring those dollars back into this district,” Cole said.

Cole also said it took over six years and lots of collaboration to get the Walgreens. “We want the residents in our community to stay in our community and a new Walgreens provides a much-needed service, as well as new jobs. Walgreens has committed to hiring locally – both for our construction and operations. That means more jobs and that is good for all of us,” Cole said.

The store is part of a Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

project. The nonprofit organization is also working on bringing other retailers to southeastern San Diego.

Affordable Housing Project Opens in Black Mountain Ranch

The grand opening today of Fairbanks Commons, a newly constructed 163-unit affordable apartment complex in the community of Black Mountain Ranch is providing low-income families more choices about where to live in the city of San Diego. The apartments at 15870 Camino San Bernardo are smoke-free.

Fairbanks Commons Apartments will remain affordable for 55 years because federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits helped fund the development. The development is a public-private partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission and developer Chelsea Investment Corp.

Low-income families at Fairbanks Commons will be living across the street from Del Norte High School, which opened in 2009. Five-year-old Del Sur Elementary School, retail businesses at 4S Commons Town Center, local parks and a public library are also nearby.

SDHC authorized the issuance of $35.9 million in multifamily housing revenue bonds, administered by the state, toward the estimated total development cost of $51 million. The San Diego City Council, sitting as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, approved the multifamily housing revenue bonds.

Pacific Arts Movement Hires Senior Advancement Director

Pamela Couvignou

Pamela Couvignou

Pacific Arts Movement, presenters of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, has hired Pamela Couvignou as senior advancement director overseeing both development and marketing.  Couvignou joins Pac-Arts as it prepares for its Asian Film Festival’s 15th season. Couvignou helped raise millions of dollars for the San Diego chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She has a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego and a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon in Arts Management.

The public is invited to meet Couvignou at Pac-Arts’ first quarterly screening of the year on Thursday at the Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center (7510 Hazard Center Drive) from 5-6:30 p.m..  A reception will be held in the lobby starting at 5 p.m., and the epic Chinese comedy film, “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” directed by Stephen Chow, will screen starting at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $11.50 for general, $8 for Pac-Arts members.


The Razer Blade laptop

The Razer Blade laptop

Razer and Koenigsegg Announce Design Partnership

CARLSBAD — Razer, maker of gaming laptops, announced  a partnership with Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg to produce a series of not-for-sale Koenigsegg limited edition Razer Blade laptops. The companies said the alliance is emblematic of the two brands’ common preoccupation with engineering perfection. “Every single detail of a Koenigsegg car is measured against our continuing goal to enhance vehicle performance,” says Koenigsegg Automotive AB CEO Christian von Koenigsegg. “This is reflected in everything we do. Nothing is insignificant. We find our doppelganger in Razer—a company inspired beyond conventional reason to design products for extreme functionality and fun.”

The relationship is tethered between Koenigsegg’s headquarters in Ängelholm, Sweden and Razer’s San Francisco design offices, through which Razer’s roster of in-house scientists and engineers are focused on developing cutting-edge technology.

The partners plan to inaugurate the Razer-Koenigsegg relationship with a limited edition of custom not-for-sale Blade laptops, which a select few Koenigsegg owners and Razer fans will get to use.

The Koenigsegg Razer Blade will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

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